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China is ranked 177th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.

The situation in Hong Kong - officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China - on the other hand is slightly better. It is ranked 80th on the same index, and the media there - especially those writing and reporting in the English language - benefit from unique access to a closed information system.

That status, however, is fragile. Hong Kong dropped seven points in the press freedom index from 2019 and the prognosis only looks worse. The National Security Law imposed on the region by Beijing aims to clamp down on the spread of ideas of independence nationally and internationally. It carries the potential of life imprisonment for acts of "secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security" which could be applied to news reporting.

Add to that last month's proposals which meant that police no longer had to recognise journalists not registered with the government. For freelance journalists and journalism students especially, this is a significant hit to press freedom.

In this week's podcast, Ronson Chan, deputy assignment editor for not-for-profit, pro-democracy website Stand News explains how his team are affected by the new developments and how the press situation is only getting worse.

Before the National Security Law was enacted, Chan himself was a victim of doxxing in December 2019, when the police intentionally held his press card in front of a police live-stream that was viewed by 10,000 people in 40 seconds.

He talks about immediate concern for the editorial freedom of his team and fear for the next generation of Hong Kong journalists who will be discouraged from entering the industry.

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